After a long hiatus, I am happy to be back in the writing world, and I am even happier to start a new page in a new place (well, it was a 10 minute drive, but anyhow, it’s our first home)! My husband and I spent much of the holidays last year searching for the perfect spot to call our own and ever since, a complete whirlwind has ensued. Naturally.
Moving is never easy, but how exciting to begin again in a new space?! After sharing many dorm rooms, apartments, and the last 5 years with my dearest roomie and my husband (Em also refers to Ryan as her first husband, which is, in a way, accurate. She and Chris married earlier this Summer!) we were so excited to settle in and to make it our own. Little did we know, neither of us had any idea what that really meant…
I always imagined that when I finally owned a home, everything would fall in to place. You know – I think it’s one of those innocent childish whims we grab a hold of as tweens and subconsciously carry along with us into adulthood. It’s easy to think that when presented with a blank canvas, you will finally be able to paint your masterpiece. Define your style.
Define your self.
But in all honesty, that doesn’t really happen. At least, not at first.
When we set out to design our first home, we quickly realized what so many others come to learn in the first few months: no project is small, no change happens quickly, and nothing is easy. It is difficult. But in a good way.
Within these first few months I think Ryan and I have generated nearly 30 different To-Do Lists on various pieces of technology and programming – still we struggle to cross off even the “simplest” of items. Old broken-in homes have character, but they also have limitations, and they will take every opportunity to trick you into thinking that you have it all figured out. This is when you find yourself running out the front door to hopefully (and very quickly) locate the water shut-off valve because your husband is sitting on the bathroom floor amidst streams of gushing water when he was “only going to try and replace one valve”.
Rather quickly I realized how thankful I am for each of these moments of struggle; while we have yelled loudly and often, we have also made some pretty wonderful memories. Not only has it forced us to communicate (even more), it has given us the opportunity to overcome adversity together – as a team. And it has shown me a whole new maintenance-motivated facet of the man I married – one that I certainly didn’t know was there previously.
He chose to keep that under wraps. Smart man.
In tackling the first 6 months, we have found that generally, working with what we have bodes best. Optimize current pieces while slowly working into the space new pieces that you both love – a framed poster of your favorite band, or a picture taken from your trip to Lake Como. Try things in one place. Then move them. And then move them again.
It is all about the journey, the process. It is evolutionary – just like paintings.
Just like life.
Ryan loves to joke that every time he comes home from work he doesn’t recognize where he is because I’ve moved everything around again. And I thought I knew exactly what I wanted. This is the beauty of a new space; all the while you think you are creating something that defines you. I think I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that maybe it’s less about defining one’s self.
Really, it’s more about discovering one’s self.
So when I walk into my kitchen cursing the multi-colored flimsy particle-board cabinets and when I peer out our sliding doors to a barren, weed-speckled dirt hill, I try to shift my perspective. I try to remember that if it were all handed to me, it wouldn’t be work. It wouldn’t be worth it. And it wouldn’t be mine.
And really, isn’t the magic about your first home the indisputable truth that it is in fact, yours?
While we are spinning around like tops and having what seems like an endless conversation about where to hang the coach lights out front and how much we despise the brown carpet –
We are at peace.
We feel glad to be in a space that gives us the opportunity to discover more about ourselves. To inhabit a place that teaches us how to work as team and overcome obstacles together. While our minds are full of ideas to pursue and every How-to imaginable, we feel the honor of hosting beautiful pieces handed down from family. And while we work to build a home that may someday define us, we hold close the simple notion that a strong foundation is all that matters. We hope never to lose sight of this truth; without the journey, we will never understand the reward, which is the time that we have here, working together.
Somehow we’ve managed to paint a bedroom, switch bedrooms four times, repaint a hallway, and plant bougainvilleas at the top of our barren, weed-speckled hill. While I still feel we should be further along, I am happy with what we have, and with the fact that we are still married.
If that doesn’t spell out a sound foundation, I don’t know what does.
Here are a few pictures of how things are developing. I will keep you all updated as things shift and as I inevitably rearrange it all. Again. And then again.
Hoping you’ve all had a wonderfully inspiring year!
Bar Cart found here
Shop Plant Stands here and here
Deer in Socks Print
Shop this Drop Leaf Table at Target.com
Mounted Prism Wall Art in Brushed Gold
Life Aquatic Print
Cement Base Hurricane Lantern
Pig Salt & Pepper Shakers
Throws from Cost Plus / World Market
Wood Canopy Bed Frame / World Market
Bedding / West Elm
Sydney Frames / Aaron Brothers